While I was away last week, Tucker Carlson, of Fox News decided to declare that Michael Vick should have been executed for his role in dog fighting. It was almost enough to get me out of my sick bed to rant. It seems that Carlson has taken some heat for his inappropriate words and has decided to issue a faux apology.
“This is what happens when you get too emotional,” Carlson said. “I’m a dog lover, I love them and…I know a lot about what Michael Vick did…I overspoke. I’m uncomfortable with the death penalty in any circumstance. Of course I don’t think he should be executed, but I do think that what he did is truly appalling.”
So he excuses calling for the excution of a man by saying that he is a dog lover. Wow, clueless racist pig shit. I am a dog lover and as I write this, Ms. Sookie is curled at my feet, because I refuse to allow her to fulfill her dream of becoming a 60 pound lap dog. I will never approve of the abuse of animals, but I recognize that humanity deserves to be respected as well. No matter how much I love my dog, I would never dream of suggesting that she is the equal to, never mind worth more than a human being.
I am sick to death of the animal rights movement using its supposed love animals as an excuse to attack people of colour. The fact that Carlson couldn’t even utter the words I’m sorry, or acknowledge that he went as far as suggesting execution because Blacks are viewed as disposable bodies, is reflective of the movement’s continual engagement in racism. We already know that Blacks are over represented on death row because of race and class and that the threat of execution has been used to pacify Black bodies (think Mumia), so what’s one more right?
I also believe that it is relevant to mention that though dogs may be mans best friend, they have not always been friends to Black people. We have not forgotten the way that they were used to hunt down runaway slaves. They were also used to attack civil rights marchers. In South Africa, they were trained specifically to attack Blacks. Whiteness has a history of using dogs to do violence against us and the threat of death from a White man does not read like an angry dog lover, but a man who is upset because one of his weapons of choice was damaged.
Regardless of how one feels about Michael Vick, the fact of the matter is that he has paid his debt to society. Not only was he incarcerated, he suffered a great financial loss. At what point is he going to stop paying a penalty for his actions? These groups would be happy to see Vick on the street begging for change, but because he has made an incredible comeback, they feel justified in their continual persecution. Attitudes like this are exactly why the recidivism rates are so high. If you don’t give people a second chance, they have no ability to change their life. For people like Carlson it was never about reform but about hounding Vick out of existence, so that they could prove how civilized and advanced they are.
To expect people to accept his faux apology is not only insulting but yet another example of racism. He essentially called for an act of violence against another human being and given that we know that Whiteness has more than enough power to act, why is this not legitimately being viewed as the threat that it was. Vick has been forced to be accountable for his actions, but as far as I can see Carlson is long way away from receiving the justice that he deserves.